Dallas Stars: Mikael Samuelsson

Special teams fail Stars

February, 2, 2011
For the third time this season the Dallas Stars came up short against the Vancouver Canucks, and for the third time special teams played a key role.

Special teams play failed the Stars on Tuesday night and it added up to a 4-1 loss to the Canucks, who improved to 3-0-0 Dallas this season.

“For some reason against Vancouver our special teams have been terrible this year,” said Stars center Brad Richards. “It happened again tonight, I don’t know why.”

On Tuesday night it was more than just the Canucks’ power play lighting up the Stars. In their first two wins over the Stars, the Canucks scored three power play goals in each game. On this night they were 2-3 on the power play and improved to 8-15 (53.3 percent) in the three games against Dallas.

But before Vancouver ever scored on the power play the Stars had three chances with the man-advantage. All of them were in the first period, and they couldn’t take advantage.

Vancouver got power play goals from Mikael Samuelsson and Christian Ehrhoff on their second and third chances early in the second period– which came after a cross-checking penalty on James Neal and a roughing penalty on Adam Burish – to build a 2-0 lead in the game.

After the Stars had cut the Vancouver lead to 2-1 on a Loui Eriksson goal, the Stars had another power play opportunity and a chance to tie, but a tough bounce off Eriksson’s stick led to a two-on-one break the other way and Jannik Hansen set up Ryan Kesler for a shorthanded goal and the Canucks had a 3-1 lead.

“We knew what to expect with the special teams and we came up short again tonight,” said Stars captain Brenden Morrow. “Against this team it’s reoccurring. Our penalty kill hasn’t been strong, we gave up a shorthanded goal and our power play could have gotten us into the game and it came up short.”

The Stars ended up 0-5 on the power play in the game and are 1-13 in the three games against the Canucks, who have outscored the Stars 15-3 in their three victories.

“We had our opportunities tonight and we have to take responsibility for not jumping on the opportunities that we had,” said Stars coach Marc Crawford. “You have to look at what we can do better and we have to be better on our special teams. We had to be hungrier, we had to be more determined, we had to pay a bigger price to get to the net or take pucks to the net with a little more authority. I thought we had a few opportunities to do that and we didn’t execute.”

Notes: Fistric misses game

*Stars defenseman Mark Fistric missed Tuesday’s game due to illness. “I’m sure he’ll have a little more energy on [Wednesday] and we’ll see where he is at,” said Stars coach Marc Crawford. “If all is well then he’ll accompany us on the road trip.”

*Jeff Woywitka, who had missed the last three games with a shoulder injury, was back in the lineup Tuesday.

*The Stars placed forward Tom Wandell, who is out with a shoulder injury, on injured reserve retroactive to January 24. That could open the door for the Stars to call up a player for the upcoming road trip.

*The announced attendance for the game was 12,884. That’s the number of tickets distributed for the games. The number of people in the building was far less due to the bad weather in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.

Canucks down Stars 4-1

February, 1, 2011
The Dallas Stars lost their first game out of the All-Star break, falling 4-1 to the Vancouver Canucks at American Airlines Center Tuesday night. The Stars are now 0-3-0 against the Western Conference leading Canucks this season. Vancouver scored twice on the power play in the game and have scored eight times on the power play in the three games against Dallas. The Stars were 0-5 on the power play Tuesday. Loui Eriksson scored the lone goal for the Stars. Kari Lehtonen stopped 22 of 26 shots.


“For some reason against Vancouver our special teams have been terrible this year. It happened again tonight, I don’t know why.” – Stars center Brad Richards

“Our biggest thing going into the game was not to give them a lot of power play chances and we took some silly [penalties], myself included. That makes it hard to play against them because when they are on the power play they are going to find a way to make a difference in the game.” – Stars forward Adam Burish

“We had our opportunities tonight and we have to take responsibility for not jumping on the opportunities that we had. First period we had three power play chances and didn’t generate a lot on those three and they got on their opportunity and capitalized.” – Stars coach Marc Crawford


*The Stars are 8-4-1 in their last 13 games and three of the four regulation losses have come against the Vancouver Canucks.

*The Canucks have outscored the Stars 15-3 in three games this season.

*Vancouver is 8-15 (53.3%) on the power play against Dallas this season.

*The Stars are 1-13 (7.7%) on the power against the Canucks this season.

*Stars forward Loui Eriksson has 22 points (8 goals, 14 assists) in his last 20 games.

*Kari Lehtonen picked up an assist Tuesday. He now has four on the season, tying for the league lead among goaltenders with Henrik Lundqvist of the New York Rangers.

*The Stars have placed forward Tom Wandell on injured reserve retroactive to January 24.

First period

The Stars had three chances on the power play, but couldn’t take advantage. Vancouver has had two power plays and will have 1:42 remaining on the second one when the second period opens.

Both goalies had some big saves in the period. Kari Lehtonen stopped Cody Hodgson point blank with the Canucks on the power play. Cory Schneider stopped a point blank shot by James Neal with the Stars on a power play.

Mark Fistric was out for the Stars due to illness. Jeff Woywitka, who was out the last three games with an injury, was back in the lineup.

Second period

The Canucks scored two power play goals in the first 3:05 of the period to take a 2-0 lead in the game.

The first one came 26 seconds into the period when Mikael Samuelsson beat Kari Lehtonen with a shot from the right circle.

The Canucks scored eight seconds into their next power play when Christian Ehrhoff scored off a shot from the right point.

The Canucks came close to extending it to 3-0, but Lehtonen made a a couple of saves during a scramble in front of the Dallas net and then with 13:45 left in the period he made a big stop on a point blank shot by defenseman Dan Hamhuis.

Just seven seconds after that save Loui Eriksson scored on a two-on-one rush to cut the Vancouver lead to 2-1.

The Stars had a chance to tie with their fourth power play of the game, but after a pass jumped over the stick of Eriksson the Canucks got a two-on-one break and Ryan Kesler scored shorthanded to make it a 3-1 game with 5:35 left in the period.

Third period

The Canucks extended their lead to 4-1 with 5:03 left in the game. After Alex Burrows forced a turnover by Trevor Daley, he gave up the puck to Henrik Sedin, got it back and then scored off a backhand shot.

Stars lineup



Raycroft (backup)

Scratches: None

Injured: Fistric (ill), Benn (shoulder), Wandell (shoulder), Petersen (leg)

Power play units


Penalty kill units


Canucks rout Stars 7-1

January, 24, 2011
The Dallas Stars ended their Western Canada road trip with an ugly loss in Vancouver, falling 7-1 to the Canucks. It was the second straight game in which the Stars have surrendered seven goals. Kari Lehtonen was the victim this time, giving up seven on 33 shots before getting pulled with 6:48 remaining in the game. Brad Richards scored the lone goal for the Stars. Dallas lost forwards Jamie Benn and Tom Wandell to injuries during the second period of the game. Their status is not known.


“This is not just another loss. We really took it on the chin.” – Stars captain Brenden Morrow

“We tied it 1-1, that was the highlight of our night. You can’t really explain, sometimes you just have really bad games. We couldn’t find the energy we needed to play, they started to build confidence and the game got away from us. You’re going to have nights like that. … They all can’t be great games. We know we were stinky tonight. We just have to throw it in the garbage and move forward.” – Stars coach Marc Crawford

"It’s never fun when you get beat the way we got beat tonight. It’s humbling. Maybe in some small measure it puts us back in our place." - Stars coach Marc Crawford


*The Stars have given up 14 goals over the last two games. They had given up 14 goals in their nine games prior to that.

*The Canucks have scored six times on the power play in two games against the Stars this season. The Stars are 7-13 on the penalty kill in those two games.

*Kari Lehtonen is 0-2-0 against Vancouver this season with a 7.33 goals against average and a .766 save percentage.

*Nicklas Grossman was the only Dallas play to come out of the game with a plus-rating. He was a plus-one in 18:10 of ice time.

*Mike Ribeiro’s 11-game points streak came to an end.

First period

The Canucks scored on their first shot and just 1:18 into the game when Alex Burrows skated into the Dallas zone and beat Stars goalie Kari Lehtonen with a shot from just beyond the top of the left circle.

The Stars were able to bounce back to tie at the 7:19 mark when Henrik Sedin turned over the puck to James Neal in the Canucks zone and Neal set up Brad Richards, who scored off a backhand shot from close range.

But the Canucks got two power play chances and scored on both of them to take a 3-1 lead. Alex Edler’s shot from the right point was deflected into the net by Ryan Kesler at the 9:05 mark.

The Canucks scored again 1:21 later on a four-on-three power play when Christian Ehrhoff tallied on a blast from the left point with Kesler screening Lehtonen.

Jeff Woywitka was out with a shoulder injury for the Stars. Francis Wathier was a scratch.

Second period

Things did not get better in the second 20 minutes for the Stars, who lost forwards Jamie Benn and Tom Wandell during the period. Wandell did not return after he was hit hard behind the Dallas net by Canucks forward Aaron Volpatti. Benn was out after he collided in the neutral zone with Vancouver defenseman Alex Edler.

The Canucks extended their lead to 4-1 at the 3:57 mark when Mikael Samuelsson scored off the rush, beating Kari Lehtonen with a shot from the right circle.

Vancouver made it a 5-1 game when Volpatti won a race for the puck along the left boards and centered to the puck to Henrik Sedin, whose shot was stopped by Lehtonen but the puck was knocked into the net by a sliding Steve Ott.

Third period

The Canucks added two more goals in the third period. Alex Edler scored when his shot from the left point deflected off the stick of Stars forward Loui Eriksson, the Canucks forward Mason Raymond and past Lehtonen to make it a 6-1 game at the 11:05 mark.

Vancouver made it 7-1 when Hamhuis scored off a rebound with Vancouver on the power play with 6:48 left in the game. That was the end of the night for Lehtonen, who was pulled after giving up seven goals on 33 shots. Andrew Raycroft played the rest of the way and stopped both shots he faced.

Stars lineup



Raycroft (backup)

Scratches: Wathier

Injured: Woywitka (shoulder), Petersen (leg)

Power play units


Penalty kill units